Numbers up at Coffs Council
COFFS Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath said improved customer service is the goal behind the issuing of unique identifier numbers for local ratepayers.
Ratepayers may have realised that their latest rates notice had a nine-digit number on it.
This number is a ratepayer's Customer Service Number which is a unique I.D for each ratepayer.
Mr McGrath added Council's ultimate aim is for ratepayers to be able to quote that number in all their dealings with Council, whether it be for using their local library, making an enquiry, submitting a DA, reporting a pothole or any one of the many reasons people get in touch with Council.
"Currently, we have to ask people to fill in forms to verify their identity in order to make changes to quite straightforward information, such as changes of address. This is frustrating for customers who want to get their business done as quickly as possible. It takes up their time and it takes up staff time," Mr McGrath said.
"However, if each resident has a unique number, they could quote the number during a phone call, Council staff can pull up their details and we can check their identity through a simple question - just like banks and other institutions do already - and they can transact their business there and then.
"It will also be far more efficient for our online services - both those we have now and those we will be developing in the future. Just like internet shopping or banking, people will be able to login and complete their business via their mobile device or PC.
"People who still want to write to us as can also benefit as, if they quote their Customer Service Number in the correspondence, we will be confident we have all the right details when we reply."
The unique I.D number can also be used as the starting point for a database of contact information. Mr McGrath that with up-to-date contact data, residents can opt into services such as receiving text messages during emergency situations.
"We want to be able to offer as quick, easy and seamless service as possible to our customers. By adopting a unique number system, we are aiming to achieve that goal," he said.